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Can You Get Free Insulation If Not On Benefits?

Can I get insulation grants if I'm not on benefits

Millions of UK households receive state benefits. This also gives them access to additional financial support such as cost-of-living payments and discounts on energy and transport.

Furthermore, they often get access to thousands of pounds in government grants towards home energy improvements such as insulation. Insulation cuts energy bills, lessens environmental impact, and makes homes quieter by absorbing external noise.

If you’re not claiming benefits, you may assume no financial help is available for insulation, but that’s not necessarily the case. It is possible to get a grant towards the cost of insulating your home even if you do not receive benefits. 

Various energy efficiency initiatives exist which can fully or partly fund insulation for householders who don’t receive benefits. These include:

  • The Great British Insulation Scheme.
  • Local Authority Flexible Eligibility.
  • Affordable Warmth Scheme.
  • Home Upgrade Grant.
  • Insulation grants for pensioners.


The Great British Insulation Scheme

The Great British Insulation Scheme used to be called ECO+. ECO refers to the government-backed Energy Company Obligation scheme aimed at combatting fuel poverty and reducing carbon emissions.

The fourth and final phase of this scheme – ECO4 – has £4 billion of funding and is expected to run until March 2026.

ECO4 grants are available only to low-income households getting government benefits such as Universal Credit, Income Support, or tax credits.

However, the £1 billion Great British Insulation Scheme, managed by Ofgem (Office of Gas and Electricity Markets) on behalf of the government, extends the scope of ECO4 funding.

It helps households that don’t get benefits and whose homes are in a lower Council Tax band with a low Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D to G.


How Does the Great British Insulation Scheme Work?

The Great British Insulation Scheme isn’t grant-based. Instead, it obliges large and medium-sized energy suppliers to put in place measures to reduce energy use.

The level of insulation funding is determined on a case-by-case basis. Some households get free insulation while others have to pay a little towards the cost. 

Like ECO4, the Great British Insulation Scheme is scheduled to run until March 2026.


Types of Insulation Funded by the Great British Insulation Scheme

The Great British Insulation Scheme allows householders to get the following types of insulation for free or at minimal cost.


Local Authority Flexible Eligibility

Like the Great British Insulation Scheme, the Local Authority Flexible Eligibility initiative (LA Flex) expands the entitlement scope for energy efficiency funding.

Participating local councils set their own eligibility criteria without taking into account household income and benefits. This means more people can get access to energy efficiency measures, including insulation.

LA Flex helps homeowners and private tenants who don’t get any other type of aid but still struggle to heat their homes on a tight budget.

Eligibility criteria varies among councils but funding is typically available for households on a low income or in fuel poverty. The scheme also considers factors such as age, medical conditions, and level of vulnerability of living in a cold home.


Affordable Warmth Scheme

If your income is less than £20,000 a year, you can apply to the Affordable Homes Scheme for a grant to cover the cost of loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, and solid wall insulation.

The scheme is funded by the Department for Social Development and open to homeowners and private tenants. It also covers new central heating installation and window and door draughtproofing.

In most cases the scheme offers grants up to £7,500. This increases to £10,000 if your home needs solid wall insulation.


Home Upgrade Grant

Free wall, loft and underfloor insulation is available under the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG) initiative for households with an annual income of £31,000 a year or less and an Energy Performance Certificate rating of D to G. 

The scheme is open to homeowners in England off the gas grid in certain postcode areas. Your local council can tell whether you’re eligible for a grant.


Insulation Grants for Pensioners

Pensioners with an income of below £31,000 a year can get full or substantially subsidised funding for a range of home insulation improvements.

These grants are available through the Energy Company Obligation Scheme and the Great British Insulation Scheme.

They cover various types of insulation, including internal and external wall insulation, cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, room-in-roof insulation, underfloor insulation, and spray foam insulation.


Benefits of Home Insulation

Without adequate insulation, homes lose a lot of heat, including around 30 to 40% through the walls and 25% through the roof.

This makes home life uncomfortable, and when you ramp up the heating to compensate for heat loss, it significantly increases energy bills – already at eye watering levels. It also increases emissions of pollutants such as carbon dioxide, which contributes to climate change and global warming.

Insulation addresses these concerns by minimising heat loss from your home.

The Great British Insulation Scheme, for example, helps the most energy inefficient homes, which tend to have the highest energy bills because of heat loss. 

According to the government, installing insulation can cut energy bills by around £300 to £400 a year.


Check Your Eligibility for Benefits and Energy Grants

Many people on a low income don’t claim the benefits they’re entitled to. Some are unaware of their eligibility or feel there’s a stigma attached to asking for help. Others shy away from complex application processes.

Although, as we’ve seen, it’s possible to get free insulation without being in receipt of benefits, you could be missing out on financial help to improve your home’s energy efficiency in other ways. 

Receiving certain benefits opens up access to a broad range of grants for home improvements such as installing a new boiler, replacing an inefficient boiler with a heat pump, or upgrading electric storage heaters.

So it may be worthwhile to check your eligibility for benefits.  It’s also a good idea to check your eligibility for home energy improvements.

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